News Column

OFID's Governing Board Approves Fresh Funding in Its 147th Session: Funds to Benefit Over 30 Countries Worldwide

June 10, 2014



DOHA, QATAR, June 10 -- OPEC Fund for International Development issued the following news release:

Meeting in its 147th Session, the Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved financing of nearly US$328m to boost socio-economic development in over 30 partner countries. Of the new commitments, nearly US$190m will support public sector loans to support the transportation, water supply and sanitation, health and energy sectors, as well as projects of a multi-sectoral nature. Under OFID's private sector and trade finance lending programs, nine transactions totaling US$133 were approved.

The approved public sector loans are as follows:

Also approved at the meeting were five grants totaling US$4.85m in support of the following projects/programs:

See table here (http://www.ofid.org/NewsPress/tabid/87/ArticleId/1911/OFID-s-Governing-Board-approves-fresh-funding-in-its-147th-session-Funds-to-benefit-over-30-countrie.aspx)

* International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. US$1.8m. To support water, sanitation and hygiene projects in DR Congo, Somalia and Zambia. The provision of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities will help improve health and raise living standards for over 770,000 people.

* World Health Organization (WHO). US$1.2m. To co-finance the second phase of a WHO/OFID initiative aimed at preventing transfusion-transmitted HIV/AIDS and hepatitis infections in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. This project will benefit more than 360 million people by preventing the transmission of fatal and/or debilitating diseases.

* Group for Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity. US$300,000. To tackle bottlenecks in the value chain of cookstove production in Mali. The project will result in better quality-cookstoves and a doubled production capacity of 48,000 units per year. This will reduce the need for fuelwood and in turn, decrease hazardous indoor pollution, as well as help promote local economic development.

* Handicap International. US$750,000. To improve access to essential services such as education, physical therapy and psychosocial support for children and adults with disabilities living in marginalized areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The expected number of direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project is over 10,000 individuals.

* Welthungerhilfe. US$800,000. To provide vulnerable rural communities and entrepreneurs in targeted regions of Afghanistan and Tajikistan with access to renewable energy sources that include hydropower and solar energy. The project will target approximately 80 communities inhabited by around 80,000 people.

In addition to the public sector loans and grants approved at the meeting, six financing facilities totaling US$80m were approved under OFID's private sector lending window. Four will support financial institutions in Cambodia, Kenya, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka in expanding their lending activities to microfinance and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while a fifth will involve participation in equity investments in key industries in the MENA region. Another will support agribusiness development in multiple sub-Saharan African countries.

Under OFID's trade finance program, three operations totaling US$53m were approved. One will be extended to a bank in Honduras that funds import and export-related finance transactions, across all sectors, particularly those relating to agriculture and textiles. Another, OFID's first operation in Peru, will help a financial institution in this country expand its services for on-lending to SMEs, while a third will support a financial institution in Turkey that on-lends to local companies for their trade finance purposes.

Since its inception, OFID has committed nearly US$17bn in much-needed concessional development financing to 134 developing countries around the world, with priority given to the poorest amongst them.

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